Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Youth = craziness

Happy almost spring break to you.  And to me.  I so need it.  My body is ready to not do aerobics for exactly 7 days.  Especially my feet.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak... um, maybe from the Bible? Or maybe from somewhere else and I think everything's from the Bible.  But how true it is...  If my feet were willing, the rest of me would totally do aerobics every day over spring break.  Says the woman who just downed a big bowl of macaroni and cheese followed by a cookie dough chaser.  

Today is my day off and I'm resting and enjoying the quiet of the house.  And the hardest work was when I just went to Ross and found 2 giant rugs to try out because ours are exhausted and stinky.   And of course Ross has a firm policy on offering zero customer service.  So I dragged the first rug to the car in the rain, and then a man felt sorry for me and brought the other one out for me.  He wasn't doing anything anyway except sitting in a chair hoping his wife would finish shopping soon.  Maybe he'll still be there when I decide the rugs don't look good and I need to return them.  

Y'all, the house has been crazy lately.  We have a 4th kid around here now.  But he's a part timer.  I call him Kid 4 since I feed him multiple times a day and always find him sleeping on my couch and handing me his laundry to wash.  He's the current best friend of Kid 1 and I'm even kind of enjoying the commotion myself.  Except for that broken glass thing.  Kid 4 was the runner from responsibility.   And he keeps eating all my Ritz crackers, which Kids 1-3 know are mine.  But this one needs us a little bit right now.  And I think we need him, too.  He brings lots of energy to our home, and he's good for Kid 1.  

And I've seen some beautiful lessons in friendship as of late.  I've seen sharing, and patience, and actual conversations.  But mostly I've seen Kid 1 looking out for his buddy in ways that are surprisingly mature and reassuring to me as a mom.   

I remember when I was in high school and met a young man that I was never really good friends with, but frequently acquainted because of other people.  But he treated me like I was his dearest and best.  And at first I found it a little odd when this fella would tell stories of us,... created make believe memories more or less,... as if we had known each other forever, .... as if he was looking to create kinship with someone who would return the same.  And turns out there was a reason for it that I figured out later.  Because there's always a reason. 

This guy knew my boyfriend, so he was around quite a bit.  And he was very rough around the edges... think drinking problem and for all practical purposes, homeless.  And he was especially needy.  It wasn't uncommon for him to be missing in action for a couple of days then when a friend would look for him, find him sleeping in his truck after another rough patch.  But what I learned about his growing up years put a lot of his behaviors into perspective.  And I guess I was willing to take that for what it was worth and not give the guy the boot.  Youth = craziness.    

But what I always noticed about him was how gentle and kind he was to me.  Maybe we were to each other.  One day he showed up at my house a complete mess.  He had been in a fight involving poor judgment and lots of blood, and he didn't have anywhere else to go.  

And I think what surprised me the most... knowing my mom the way I did, our difficult relationship and all.... she welcomed him in - not in a kind and loving way, but in a dutiful, do the right thing kind of way, and let him get cleaned up for a fresh start.  Not the mom I was expecting to see in that situation.  But she washed his clothes, and got him fixed up like moms do.  He stayed at my house for a little while that day.  And she didn't ask him to leave.  Neither did I.  

I think that's what surprised me the most.  Because most days I wasn't even welcome at home, but for some reason that day, I was. Along with my misfit friend.  

I'm really proud right now of Kid 1... as he recognizes some specific needs in his friend, and brings him home to help him out.  I'm not sure what's going on at Kid 4's house, but I'm pretty sure it's something.  And that's all I need to know.   

post script.... my messed up high school fella? He followed me to college as well.  Not as a student, but as an occasional guest and visitor.  Most of the time, by surprise.  But always good to me.  He ended up making some mistakes in the next year or so and spent quite a bit of his young life in prison.  And it was then that I became the occasional visitor.  Yes, I have been inside a Texas maximum security facility on more than one occasion.  I didn't love it.  But sometimes doing the right thing takes us out of our normal and places us right in the middle of another person's need.

Post post script... 

21 years ago today I lost my sister to her battle with a long fought illness.  She was a good one. 

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  1. Thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us. Hugs!

  2. Kristi - Your words never fail to touch my heart and educate me. Good for you for providing a safe/loving place for Kid 4. So glad to hear the effects on Kid 1 and that he's becoming a solid, caring young man. Prayers as you remember your sister! -- Lynne B.


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